New-vehicle sales increased by 20.2% in June, to 38 030 units, compared with the same month last year.
According to Naamsa | The Automotive Business Council, an estimated 32 847 units of this number, or 86.3%, were dealer sales, with 7.6% going to the vehicle rental industry, 2.2% to government and 3.9% to corporate fleets.
New passenger-car sales increased by 28%, to 24 482 units.
Sales of bakkies, vans and taxis grew by 9.6%, to 11 208 units.
Medium-truck sales gained 19.1%, reaching 687 units, while heavy-truck and bus sales declined by 3.3%, to 1 653 units.
New-vehicle exports from South Africa jumped by 50.9% in June, to 28 384 units.
To date, vehicle exports are up 65.8% on the first six months of 2020.
Naamsa says the new-vehicle market is continuing its gradual recovery “in the face of a number of challenges, but also opportunities”, with ongoing stronger sales through the dealer channel signalling improved consumer and business sentiment.
Rental companies are also refleeting, while the replacement cycle is once again showing signs of life.
However, the automotive industry is concerned about persistent electricity supply disruptions, port delays and the current third wave of Covid-19 infections, notes Naamsa.
“The vaccine roll-out is slow and a third wave of the pandemic threatens to dent the momentum in consumption in the country, especially if the adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown restrictions are extended for longer than the initial two-week period.”
The new-vehicle market is currently up 40.1%, compared with the corresponding period last year, but compared with the first six months of 2019 – pre-Covid-19 – the market is down 11.7%, says Naamsa.
This highlights the fact that a full recovery in domestic automotive sales will probably be delayed until “around 2023”.